You may have worked in the meetings & events industry & have plans to start your own business. But do you really know how to start an event planning business from scratch?
Steps to follow for event management business
- Gain a sufficient amount of event exposure, experience & planning skills. Only then can you achieve long-term success in your business. You need to have professional & accredited certification like CMP. Have solid knowledge of the domain including:
- Public relations, marketing, creativity, etc.
- Budget management & negotiation
- Verbal & communication skills
- Make feasible plans: You do need a good business plan before you spread the news of your starting an event business. Doing some research & discussing with the industry experts can help you to come up with a viable plan.
- Determine event planning forte/market: Firstly, determine your strengths & identify your weaknesses. Find out your niche market and make plans to cater services to this particular market. A good number of planners seem to commit one common mistake, which is to coordinate all types of events. It also includes fundraising galas, weddings, corporate meetings, etc. However, there are distinctive differences between them and hence, you need to determine which niche market to work with.
- Determine business structure: Identify the business entity type that you will be comfortable with. You may require professional advice to achieve the same since you can come across several options. They are a Trust and non-profit organization, Partnership, S-Corporation, C-Corporation, and sole proprietorship. Choose the one that best fits your business needs.
- Develop excellent supplier network & staffing resources: To provide quality event planning services, you need to work with different types of suppliers like photographers, florists, caterers, etc. You will require the help of event rental CRM for efficient & timely management of the whole event. Staffing resources include accounting, legal, communications, marketing, sales & administration.
- Business insurance: Your new event management business will require valid & comprehensive insurance to secure general liability & protect your financial interests. You need to derive detailed information on the following:
- Home-based insurance
- Product liability
- General liability
- Health along with other benefits
- Criminal insurance
- Worker’s compensation
- Define services to be offered: Identify the different types of services do you wish to offer your clients. Do make sure to stay focused on whatever you have on offer. Know your product well as it will help you to identify your target market. The next to determine is whether to offer specialization on any specific planning event. Do you plan to offer complete service planning & execution for production, catering, table fabric runners, venues, gifts, speakers, lodging, transportation, etc.?
- Funding: You will require funds to meet your operating expenses. How to source & secure funds is entirely up to the business owner. Fortunately, you can start an event management business even with limited funds.
- Establish a fee structure: Whether you start a small or big event planning firm, you need to determine your fee structure. You should know how to manage all expenses & still make reasonable profits. You can set your fee structure based on:
- Commission rate
- Expense percentage combined with an hourly rate
- Expense Percentage
- Flat fee
- Focus on marketing & business development to promote your new event business: Once you establish your business model, know what service to offer, fees to charge & niche market you are ready for. Now, you should develop crucial marketing materials, a suitable name & a viable & realistic business development plan. The other requirements are stationary, business cards, client agreements, proposals, sales collateral, etc.
Following the above steps will help you to know how to start an event planning business & achieve sure success.